Cholera death toll hits 780 in Yemen

SANAA. – The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the number of suspected cholera cases in conflict-ridden Yemen has exceeded 100 000 in less than two months, with the death toll hitting over 780. “To date, 101 820 suspected cholera cases and 789 deaths have been reported in 19 governorates,” WHO spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic, told Reuters on Thursday.

A cholera outbreak began in Yemen on April 27.

This is the second wave of the disease in the Arabian Peninsula country, where 19 million people are in need of help with food shortages and hunger spreading.

Cholera infection first became epidemic in Yemen last October and spread until December, when it dwindled. Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection that is spread through contaminated food or water. It can be effectively treated with the immediate replacement of lost fluids and salts, but without treatment it can be fatal.

WHO had earlier warned that the number of cholera cases in Yemen could hit 300 000.

Oxfam charity organisation warned that the cholera epidemic in Yemen “is killing one person nearly every hour and if not contained, will threaten the lives of thousands of people in the coming months.”

It further called for “a massive aid effort and an immediate ceasefire” between Yemen’s warring sides to allow aid workers to tackle the outbreak in the impoverished country.

The published numbers of those infected with cholera were probably an underestimate, it noted. “Yemen is on the edge of an abyss. Lives hang in the balance,” Oxfam’s Yemen Country Director Sajjad Mohammed Sajid said, adding, “Cholera is simple to treat and prevent, but while the fighting continues, the task is made doubly difficult.” – Press TV.

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